Friday, March 25, 2011

A Phenomenal Meal at The John Dory Oyster Bar

It's true, I go out to eat a lot. And while I've found (and written about) some amazing food, no meal has ever affected me quite the way my dinner at April Bloomfield's John Dory Oyster Bar did this past Thursday night. Ms. Bloomfield has already wowed NYC with her incredible West Village joint The Spotted Pig, (oh that burger!) so I knew I was in for a real treat at the John Dory.
Patrick and I have both been working really hard lately, so I sent him a note late in the afternoon on Thursday to see if he'd want to meet me after work for dinner to reward ourselves for it. I wanted to suggest the John Dory because we've been meaning to go ever since we moved a block away from the Ace Hotel, but I left the decision up to him. When he wrote me back with, "John Dory?" I couldn't have been more excited (both for the meal and because I'm constantly reminded that I am dating the perfect guy.)

We met at 6:30pm on the corner of 29th & Broadway and I have to say, I was pretty surprised that the restaurant was already completely packed. I knew this place was really hot, but that busy so early? I was definitely taken aback. I gave our name to the hostess who said it would be about 45 minutes and we went to the bar to order some drinks and wait. Since I'm completely obsessed with any cocktail involving vodka and cucumbers, I ordered the Cucumber Rickey and asked the bartender to use vodka instead of gin. Patrick got a Blue Point beer and we waited. And waited. And waited. Luckily, I had my wonderful boyfriend and my refreshing cocktail to keep me company.
When an hour passed, we checked on our table and the hostess told us it would be another half hour. Seriously? Ugh. We went back to the bar to wait and when I checked in 15 minutes later, she said our seats were ready and we were shown to two stools by the window. That was when the real fun began.

I ordered a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and we ordered a few things to share. A dozen West Coast Oysters to start, recommended by our waiter because I told him I don't like briny oysters. When he described them as "cucumber-y," I was sold. In addition to the oysters we ordered the Oyster & Bay Scallop Pan Roast, the Chorizo Stuffed Squid and the Parker House Rolls. Little did we know just how amazing our order was.
The raw oysters were very good. We got 3 different varieties, and they were all very tasty. All 12 were gone in no time at all and we waited for the rest of our food to come out. Everything else arrived together and just the sheer aroma alone was enough to knock me off my seat in the best way possible. And then, I took my first bite.

The oyster pan roast was easily one of the most incredible flavors I have ever experienced in my entire life. Rich and smooth, the liquid that contained the oysters and scallops invaded every fluffy morsel of the roll when it was dipped into it. The bite of the pan roast soup with the roll absolutely blew me away and made me realize why I love food so much. It warmed me from the inside and brought a huge smile to my face. Patrick agreed with me, and we patted ourselves on the back for our stellar order. I have to say, the sea urchin on toast that sat atop the amazing bowl of awesomeness was the only part I didn't enjoy. I've had sea urchin before, and I'm not a huge fan, but it just didn't belong anywhere near my precious pan roast. It is way too salty and fishy-tasting for me, so I didn't take another bite of it.
I have been eating some pretty adventurous stuff lately, namely a whole lot of bone marrow, and the Stuffed Squid in theory was right up there in exotic cuisine. But this dish wasn't weird at all, it was incredible! The chorizo in the dish was smoky and packed with flavor, the squid was the perfect texture and the rice was cooked just right. When all the elements were eaten together, it was truly the perfect bite.
When we had finished every last bit of our meal, I felt both satisfied and excited. The food was rich so even though it wasn't a ton of food, I really was full. And I have to say that excitement was an emotion I felt because this was some seriously amazing food. Eating is something everyone has to do to stay alive, but why should that mean we can't enjoy it while we do it? For me, food is so much more than just something I "have to do." It's something that I enjoy doing so much that I look forward to each and every single thing I eat. Call me crazy, but when I find food like my dinner at the John Dory, I think you're crazy if you don't love it too.

Have you ever eaten something that was so good it changed your life? I thought my steak at Peter Luger last December was the best thing I'd ever eaten, but my dinner last night topped even that. John Dory, I will be back VERY soon for more.

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie

1 comment:

  1. I love love love oysters! We need to plan a girls' food date soon :)